Post UPDATED with remaining Hollywood performances.
Our Las Vegas recap is coming very soon so keep an eye out!

With the auditions coming to a close and myself finally recovering from a dreadful cold, we go to one of the most climatic and dramatic parts of the season: Hollywood week. Where contestants will sing a capella and perform in groups in a chance to make it to the live shows and be the next American Idol. Who will soar above expectations? Who will crumble under the pressure? Stay tuned. This... is American Idol!

Recap and videos after the JUMP...

Day 1

For this first round of Hollywood week, contestants will go out on stage in groups of 10 and be given roughly 30 seconds to sing a capella. After that group is done, the Judges will then decide who to eliminate on the spot.

We start off with what is being shown as an unspoken rivalry between two contestants who couldn't be more different but got great starts at the auditions. Johnny Keyser and Heejun Han. Johnny is super confident while Heejun is nervous as all get out. Johnny goes first and sings "Dreamin'" by Amos Lee. Again, he goes crazy on the runs. He's a good singer but his confidence comes off more as annoyingly cocky, which is a turn off. After Johnny is Heejun, who is even more nervous and unsure after the judges positive reaction to Johnny. He told his mom not to pack much because he won't be gone long, once in Hollywood, he notices all of the tall and pretty people surrounding him, even the guys. "I have to overcome the beauty" he says with an uncertain face. He repeats his audition song "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You" by Michael Bolton. He is obviously nervous as all hell and straining, this wasn't as good as his audition but he ends it nicely. He's still the best Asian guy I've seen on Idol, I find his voice more interesting and likable than Johnny's, to be honest. I look forward to hearing him sing something other than Michael Bolton. After building that up, both Johnny and Heejun advance to the next round.

Next, we see a little bit of 3 singers with lots of potential. Elise Testone sings a nice soulful version of "Virtual Insanity" by Jamiroquai. This girl is seriously amazing and my favorite girl right now, I really hope they show more of her in the future because her voice is amazing. Baylie Brown sings "If I'm Not In Love With You" by Faith Hill, aside from not knowing the words to the actual song, she sounds so sweet and beautiful, it isn't noticeable. Next, Hallie Day sings "You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman)" by Aretha Franklin, Hallie has a nice tone but this performance wasn't amazing. All 3 advance to the next round as they should.

Now we see Jen Hirsh, who is also quite nervous and trying not to fidget. Cute personality, she sings "Up to the Mountain" by Patti Griffin. Her voice is simple and sweet but extremely powerful, her voice breaks beautifully and her falsetto is just chilling. An absolutely enchanting rendition of this song. Loved it! Next is Lauren Gray, who is repeating her audition performance of "One and Only" by Adele. Again, her voice is straining badly to the point of off-key and doesn't break smoothly AT ALL. She gets so caught up in -singing- shouting, she can't see Randy signaling for her to stop. Lauren's got a potential soulful voice, she's just not ready. I prefer a much more soulful voice with experience like say... Elise. fucking. Testone. kthx. We then see Heather Youmans, Sascha Julian, and Candice Russell obliterate their song choices and chances of making it to the next round.

Next is Phillip Phillips, who is best known for his acoustic version of "Thriller". How will he do without his guitar? Or will the producers let him use his guitar in a round that forbids it again? No guitar this time, yay! He sings "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" by James Brown. It's gravelly and shouty but it is his style and I actually like it better than his audition. The way he sings still sounds like it hurts, I hope he isn't developing nodes for singing incorrectly. Next is Reed Grimm singing "I Got a Golden Ticket" from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Maybe he's trying to come off as unique but I personally think he's coming off as a joke. I loved this guy's audition but this is a bit lackluster for me, I don't like the way he scatted this song. I think it's chopped up pretty badly, actually. Just an awkward mess, especially the ending. The audience goes berserk loving it. If Reed can put on his serious hat for 2 minutes, I know he can bring us an amazing performance. But if we get more of tonight, I think he will start grating on viewers sooner than I thought. Now we see Travis Orlando, who seems to be more focused on his sad backstory than his actual singing. he sings"All I Do" by Marc Dorsey, he's an alright singer but it's just not the next American Idol. I expect all 3 to advance. Phillip and Reed do, Travis shockingly doesn't. We get to see him sobbing, which is never fun. Hopefully, he can pick up a job somewhere and drop the delusion that American Idol will fix everything. Also going home is Ramiro Garcia, Wolf Hamlin and Jenni Schick among the 68 contestants eliminated on day one.

Day 2

We kick off Day 2 with Adam Brock, who has been told there is a large black woman stuck inside his body (TMI? Hmm... Maybe). He misses his baby at home, which is adorable and sad to see all at the same time. He sings "Walking in Memphis" by Marc Cohn, he looks and sounds like a more shouty Danny Gokey. Unfortunately, I can't even tell that he's doing "Walking in Memphis", it's literally unrecognizable... But I do like it. Next is Jane Carrey (Jim Carrey's daughter), I loved her phrasing and melody at her audition. Aside from looking like Jim Carrey, she also reminds me of Miley Cyrus. She sings "Lookin' Out My Back Door" by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Sadly, this performance doesn't go anywhere, it just stays in one place. She sounds out of breath and the last note is just plain bad. Adam advances, Jane goes home. That sucks but it's the nature of the game.

In the next group is Shannon Magrane. After recapping her awkward audition with resident pedobear Steven Tyler, we see her perform "Fallin'" by Alicia Keys. It's good, just not special. Perhaps best described as vanilla, I wish she waited a few more years like most Idol contestants around her age but ultimately, that's the Producers fault. I still think lowering the age limit was a bad idea, you might as well be taking a half-baked cake to a super-hyped party. Sheesh... Next is David Leathers, another youngin. Probably the sharpest and most skilled out of all of them vocally but most annoying because of his ladies man bit (they don't dig you sexually, pal!). Anyway, he sings "Because You Love Me" by Celine Dion. I personally never would have expected this as a song choice from him, he totally pulls it off though. WOW... Impossibly beautiful falsetto FTW! I didn't even know that note was achievable. That was fucking amazeballs but what will happen when puberty rolls around? On the other hand, he's seventeen freakin' years old. Will it ever? Now we see Jessica Phillips sing "He Fills Me Up" by Whitney Houston (rest in peace), she sings it well, I'm not amazed by it. I'm not fond of the enunciation of "up" in the chorus or the "hey" after that. Nice falsetto run though. All 3 advance plus Angie Zeiderman and Brittany Kerr.

In the next group is Erika Van Pelt singing "Glitter In the Air" by P!nk. First off, BRILLIANT song choice on her part. Second, sung even more brilliantly. She has a nice deep and rich alto and can belt like there is no tomorrow. In parts she reminds me of Kelly Clarkson, in other parts Christina Aguilera. I absolutely loved this and so does the judges and crowd, I'd love to see her go far. Hopefully the fashion transformation department will get rid of that vest that obviously doesn't fit. Next up is Creighton Fraker, who captivated the judges with his unique voice, he's singing "Somebody To Love". He's dressed kinda weird which is a little distracting. Anyway, some of the lower notes are a little weird but the higher notes are great. His ending to the song is killer. Loved it. Aaron Marcellus is next, he is showing off his vocal runs so much, I can't even tell what he is singing. Something about "starting here, starting now". Perhaps the runs are necessary for him to make an argument for advancing further since this is his 3rd run on Idol. Either way, I liked it and I like his personality.

In the next group we see, Lauren Mink performs "Alone" by Heart. She has a nice Country voice. During her performance, J-Lo whispers to Randy "Did she change keys in the middle of the song?" Rut roh. Jeremy Rosado, the germaphobe that works at an infectious disease office (bahaha!), goes next. He's dishing out compliments and thanks as if it were confetti. His personality reminds me of David Archuleta for some reason. He sings "Superstar" by Luther Vandross. I like his voice but it really sounds like he's straining in the higher parts. He's got potential, there's nothing that interests me a great deal right now though. Next is Symone Black, her very supportive mentor/ stage dad is with her. She sings "Sitting On the Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding, very sweet and simple but I really enjoy her enunciation. When asked why she picked that song, she answers that she wanted to appeal to an older audience. "You're saying that we're older?" says Randy jokingly. Symone says no, starts stumbling and ZOMG she falls off the stage! "Medic!" #DRAMA Do we see what happens to poor Symone this episode? Of course not, Nigel Lythgoe runs this thang. DAMMIT NIGEL!

The next episode airs, we see that Symone manages to stand up with help of her dad and medics and drive to a nearby hospital. The other contestants, shocked and shaken, say a prayer for her. We finally resume group rounds and see that Jeremy and Symone advance to the next round (Yay!) while Lauren Mink and Ethan Jones are sent home. Note: Symone does fully recover and return to rehearse with a group for the next round.

This next episode is filled with 100% drama and 0% actual singing. Well, maybe some singing, just not enough to write an article on. There was one part that showed Eben Franckewitz rehearsing that sounded shockingly REALLY good. That's about all I remember worth noting, singing-wise. So needless to say, we will not be recapping all of this irrelevant drama because we are here to cover a SINGING competition. However, the one drama part worth recapping is the war between Heejun Han and Richie Law in the video listed below (source: MjsBigBlog). Anyway, we have crazy cowboy control freak who looks like Woody from Toy Story and the other 3 who are really annoyed with him, Heejun being the only one expressing vocal frustration. "I'm trying to make different harmonies and chords because I'm the only person that knows what that means" says Richie. Seriously, what a douchebag thing to say. And if you really knew anything about music, you would know this is the worst year for you to enter Idol. To end my Richie rant on a nice note, he sounded nice in the falsetto part at 1:43. Heejun, however, is too awesome for words. Watch it!

Day 3

After a full episode of nothing but people bitching and throwing up, we finally move on to some actual singing! Our first group of the day is The Bettys consisting of Jennifer Malsh, Cherie Tucker, Cari Quoyeser, Gabrielle Cavassa and Brianna Bell. This was one of the groups that had major drama, nausea and drama going on. They sing "Hit 'em Up Style" by Blu Cantrell. Major fail on the harmonies, Jennifer sounded good in her part, as did Cari but the rest of this is just garbage. Only this group can make a simple piano arrangement sound shaky. Both the Judges and the audience can't wait for this to be over. Once it is, Cari and Jennifer survive the cut. The rest are silenced for the greater good.

Next up is Groovesauce, consisting of Reed Grimm, Nick Boddington, Creighton Fraker, Jen Hirsh and Aaron Marcellus singing "Hold On, I'm Coming" by Sam and Dave. Definitely a group of pros that know what they're doing, as this arrangement and performance is amazing. Groovesauce is definitely a fitting name. Creighton was totally on top of his game and very impressive, Aaron also sounded really good. Jen totally killed it, her simple yet powerful voice is just amazing. Girl can belt, I don't think there is anyone like Jen in today's market. Solid backup vocals too. The Judges and audience rightfully give them a standing ovation. They all advance to the next round. Groovesauce raised the bar for the rest of the day.

Now we see 679 consisting of Kyle Crews, Brielle Von Hugel, Joshua Ledet and Shannon Magrane. First off, Brielle's personality totally reminds me of Haley Reinhart at times. Second, Brielle's mom is a major bitch, which will hurt Brielle long run. Especially if she makes the live rounds. They also sing "Hit 'em Up Style". Kyle is lackluster compared to his audition, Brielle also sucks and sounds bland. Joshua steps in, WHOA... Where did this guy come from? This guy's got an amazing soulful rasp and excellent vocal control. He's like Lusky without the stank. Shannon ends the performance strongly but her style is still just bland as hell. The Judges eliminate Kyle, the rest advance to the next round.

Next is the Make You Believers (terrible name) consisting of Dustin Cundiff, Amy Brumfield, Mathanee Treco and Jacquie Cera. The main problem with this group is illness, originating from Patient Zero Amy Brumfield. Jacquie collapses to the floor before the group's performance. The group moves on without her but Jacquie decides she's going to perform with them at the last minute. They sing "More Than a Feeling" by Boston. Dustin forgets the words, as does Amy. Randy has to tell the rest of the group to help them with the lyrics, lots of oversinging and none of it sounds great. The Judges eliminate everyone but Mathanee.

Next up is another group with loads of drama. Those Girls and That Guy consisting of Christian Lopez, Alisha Bernhardt and Samantha Novacek. After recapping Alisha the Douchecop and Christian getting sick, we move on to their performance. They sing "Stuck Like Glue" by Sugarland, this is possibly the most boring and off-key piece of crap I have ever heard. Alisha, specifically, is absolutely terrible. Christian, bland and off-key. Samantha, ridiculously shaky and uncomfortable with the song. The entire group is cut, good riddance.

Hollywood 5 is next up, consisting of Ariel Sprague, Eben Franckewitz, Gabi Carruba, David Leathers and Jeremy Rosado. They perform "Mercy" by Duffy. Ariel sounds great in her part, there's something about Eben's voice that just sounds shrill in this. Gabi sounds good but her style is bland. David sounds bad and his voice breaks in a bad spot, I expected better. Jeremy is the only one in this group that really stood out for me, he has his own style and it stands out in a group of bland kids. I must have missed something because the Judges floved it and sends them all to the next round.

Area 451 goes next, consisting of Bryce Garcia, Johnny Keyser, Kristi Krause and Imandi Handy. Imani fainted in the hallway but decides she's going to go up and sing anyway. She eats it again trying to get backstage. This girl is ridiculously weak and should not be allowed to go up at all. They sing "Broken Strings" by James Morrison. Bryce forgets the words and nobody helps him. Crash and burn. Johnny sounds great in his part. Kristi goes to belt and ends it badly. Imani goes next, she sounds alright at first then goes really off-key. She gets really shaky and faints. Johnny keeps singing (rofl), the Judges notify Johnny that the party is over and he just needs to stop. Imani begs to be put through to the next round even though she sounded like crap. Everyone is eliminated except Johnny. Also heading home is Symone Black and WT Thompson.

Next is MIT consisting of Richie Lawson, Heejun Han, Phil Phillips and Jairon Jackson. Heejun vs. Cowboy round 2, everyone in this group obviously can't stand Richie. Everyone rolls their eyes as Richie describes the group as a democracy and be his cheesy self. As the room leaves the confessions room, Richie stays and gives a solo confession and talks shit about the group. They also sing "Broken Strings". Heejun displays some raspiness and sensitivity, yay for not singing Michael Bolton again. Jairon sounds fantastic and way marketable. Richie comes out sounding like Kermit the Frog and decided to go into a really crappy falsetto. Phillip sounds just as bad if not worse with his off-key groaning, maybe he still has a kidney stone? I can't tell anymore. Jairon suddenly ends the song. The Judges acknowledge that they weren't at their best but somehow, decide to put them all through to the next round. Heejun apologizes to Richie and his parents for talking crap about him on television. His smile is just priceless. Adam Brock, Erika Van Pelt, Elise Testone and Hallie Day also advance. I seriously don't understand why they don't show more Elise, she's one of the best singers here. That really frustrates me. Speaking of great singers not being shown, where the fuck is Haley Johnsen?

The group rounds officially ends... Now we move on to Solo Rounds.

Day 4
Things kick off with Joshua Ledet singing "Jar of Hearts" by Christina Perri. I just love the rasp in this guy's voice. He kinda reminds me of Sam Cooke at points. He displays control but I wish he showed a little more control. There is no doubt that he over-sang this in parts but I'm too impressed by his voice to really care. Randy is WHOO-ing, which is always a good sign. The Judges love. Next up is Colton Dixon singing "What About Now" by Daughtry. I'm disappointed he decides to sing the same thing he did last year, this time. I really like Colton but this was pretty sloppy and whiny in the chorus. He ends it nicely though.

Now we see Phil Phillips sing "Wicked Game" by Chris Isakk. He's got Dave Matthews legs! This should have worked but it didn't. It sounds like a slowed down version of his "Thriller" rendition. He actually sounds pretty bad, he sounds constipated and forced. The groaning act is really becoming annoying and I still don't think he is singing correctly. He made himself look amateurish. Next is Jen Hirsh singing "Georgia On My Mind" by Ray Charles. I love the way she breaks her voice, so powerful. She has a great grind in her voice, amazing falsetto as well. She is THE ONE TO BEAT, as of this moment. Standing ovation.

Now we see Creighton Fraker sing "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong. He really changes around the arrangement of the song. His vibrato is a little obnoxious and annoying at times but I love his runs and rasp. The room is on fiyah! Another standing ovation.

Also singing "What a Wonderful World" is Shannon Magrane. She displays a really powerful voice here, but no style. It's bland and nothing special. Maybe she should have taken a few more years to develop that? I don't know, but I'm sorta tired of seeing her at this point. WTF.. She gets a Standing O.

Next we see Reed Grimm, he was going to sing a capella but was told he couldn't before he got on. With 30 minutes to spare, Reed tries to work out an arrangement with a vocal coach and the music director. Reed says something doesn't feel right about the arrangement, he returns to his room to call his mom for support and gets emotional. Then he gets an idea, he'll play drums while singing. He performs "Georgia On My Mind", things are getting jazzy up in here. The singing is solid and so is the drumming. This is that seriousness I've been saying Reed needs to show, I'm glad he did tonight. If he keeps doing that, he could be a top competitor.

We see Skylar Laine next, she's sick and had to go to the hospital. She's back and better now and singing "You Lie" by The Band Perry. I thought it was shaky in parts but I don't think we have had quite this type of Country on Idol, that's what I love about Skylar. The Judges love it. Next is Rachelle Lamb singing "The House That Built Me" by Miranda Lambert. She forgets the words and starts over, she's got a nice tone but displayed zero passion.

Up next is Adam Brock singing "Georgia On My Mind". Starts off a bit sleepy but improves. I really like his voice but every performance has kinda been similar from him, thus far. He displays an excellent growl but almost over-growls.

Solo rounds are now over. The Judges must deliberate and decide who moves on to the Las Vegas round. After much contemplation, they finally have their minds made up.

The remaining 98 contestants are split into 4 rooms and await the results.

Among those advancing to the Las Vegas round are: Adam Brock, Angie Zeiderman, Baylie Brown, Britnee Kellogg, Colton Dixon, Creighton Fraker, David Leathers, Eben Franckewitz, Erika Van Pelt, Gabi Carruba, Haley Johnsen, Hallie Day, Heejun Han, Jairon Jackson, Jen Hirsh, Jeremy Rosado, Jermaine Jones, Jessica Phillips, Johnny Keyser, Joshua Ledet, Lauren Gray, Phil Phillips, Reed Grimm, Richie Law, Shannon Magrane, Skylar Laine and Stephanie Renae

That's a wrap for Hollywood! Next stop: Las Vegas
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